Monday 26 May 2014

Kids these days...

Are we raising a generation of kids who can gain access to an iPad within seconds but haven't so much as opened a book in months? I was sat reading the Sunday Times this morning and as per routine I flicked to the book section of the culture magazine. I like to see which books are best selling at the moment- I was pleased to see Donna Tartts 'goldfinch' has made it into the top 10 for the 23rd week in a row. I was less pleased to see what had made it into the top 5 children's Sunday times best sellers. John Greens TFIOS made it in at 3 which I wouldn't at all argue with and it has been sitting in the top 5 for 54 weeks! John Green is a great asset to YA literature, but the other four that made it into the top 5 actually kind of upset me. All four of them were manuals on how to use Minecraft- yes that's right, handbooks on how to be good at a computer game are sitting in the top 5 of children's lit- and it's not just that, two of them have held a top 5 position for up to 27 weeks! Please don't tell me I'm the only one who thinks this isn't right!

Don't get me wrong, I love playing on iPhone games as much as the next person, I joined in with the Flappy Bird craze and I still find myself opening Angry Birds when I'm a bit bored. But it has never dominated my lift, I still turn to a good book as a way to relax and I still see reading as a good form of entertainment. My worry is that kids are growing up with computer and iPhone games as their main form of entertainment. When I was a child, we did have a computer, but the only game I can remember playing was Dr Seuss' Green Eggs and Ham and books always played a huge role in my life. Maybe I am over reacting, maybe I should just be pleased that kids are still reading, but I find it somewhat wrong that the books they are reading are sometimes only being read to aid their gaming addiction. I know that most children do still read regularly and read decent books, and I know that a top 5 bestseller list from 1 newspaper doesn't give a realistic view of childrens literature as a whole, but I just found it interesting how these Minecraft handbooks seemed to dominate it.

I don't know whether books have lost their place in childrens lives or the quality of childrens literature is just not out there anymore. Maybe we need another J K Rowling to unite everyone in their love for an author and their books. Or, maybe i'm just being over dramatic!

Please let me know of any good childrens authors at the moment, and what is your view on books like the Minecraft handbooks dominating certain bestseller lists.


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